No end to the joy of owning an old vehicle

Today I started a project that was not anticipated. We started having a strange noise in Tampico, Tamaulipas. It is an odd grinding noise that almost sounds like a bad exhaust leak when we accelerate quickly, and mostly only when turning left. But, the noise goes away as soon as you let off the accelerator. Then, a few days later, I started getting a strange shutter just after the car shifts into third gear.

While listening to Car Talk the other day, they had a caller that had a similar problem (with the shuttering) and they suggested that the problem might be related to a bad motor mount. I crawled up under my truck yesterday and found that the bolt that holds the motor side of the mount to the frame side was broken. Part of the bolt was missing.

I called my uncle and we talked about it a bit. He guessed that it was my left mount that was the problem. When I told him it was the right one he immediately told me that my problem was related to the transmission mount. It was probably worn out. I crawled back under the truck to find out that he was correct in that there was a problem with the transmission mount. The problem was not that it was worn out though, it was because there were no bolts holding the mount to the transmission. They had fallen out.

I remember that I had that mount replaced a couple of years ago. It still looked to be in good shape. Since I had the transmission rebuilt this summer, I know that the bolts have only been missing, at most, 7 months. But more likely they went missing shortly before we started having the strange noise.

Dad, a friend and I got the transmission mount reconnected and one of the motor mounts removed today. We will have to replace that mount and do the replacement on the other side tomorrow. Of course this comes with a whole lot more effort than those 2 sentences can convey.

$20 and 6 hours worth of work and we will be back in business. While I hate having to tinker so much with it, it sure beats a $400 a month car payment.

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